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Texas Tech, Nanjing Agricultural Research Teams Make Plant Nutrient Delivery Breakthrough - Seed World

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-18 Fri 12:14
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500Foods shared this story from "agriculture" - Google News.

When most people think of fungi, the thoughts are usually not good, turning to something that does damage more than those that are actually helpful.

Yet, fungi play a critical role in the growth and development of plant life and have for millions of years. Scientists have known for a long time that arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi that live in harmony with about 90% of land plants and play a key role in their root systems, are responsible for carrying needed phosphate to plants to help growth.

Now, however, thanks to a discovery by a team of scientists from Texas Tech University’s Institute of Genomics for Crop Abiotic Stress Tolerance (IGCAST) in the Department of Plaint and Soil Science, and the Nanjing Agricultural University’s State Key Laboratory of crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, that symbiotic role may go even further.

That research team, which included professor Guohua Xu, Prof. Aiqun Chen and Dr. Huimin Feng from Nanjing Agricultural University and, Luis Herrera-Estrella, the President’s Distinguished Professor of Plant Genomics and director of IGCAST, and assistant professor Damar López-Arredondo, discovered that AM fungi also acted as a supplier of nitrogen to the plant, the protein (NPF4.5) responsible for transporting nitrates from the fungi to the plant, and that this symbiotic nitrate pathway and the function of the protein are present in crops such as rice, and probably most other plant species.